The Strengthening Advocacy and Civil Engagement (SACE) project is a $19.2 million USAID-funded project implemented by Chemonics International between January 2, 2014, and January 1, 2019. Its objective is to strengthen civil society’s ability to influence the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at the national, state, and local levels. The project will support increased engagement and efficacy of civil society to influence public institutions whose function it is to serve citizens’ interests. The project explicitly aims to engage marginalized populations; such as women, youth, and the disabled; in the process and emphasize the importance of leadership and innovation.
The program has four components:
- Strengthened institutional, organizational, and technical capacity of targeted civil society organizations’ (CSO) coalitions and networks to advance targeted democracy and good governance initiatives.
- Strengthened partnership (engagement) between CSO-led coalitions and networks and targeted Government of Nigeria (GON) institutions and key stakeholders to advocate for and monitor select democratic reforms aimed at strengthening transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of government institutions.
- Strengthened public awareness, discourse, and support for key democratic governance issues such as transparency, accountability, and good governance.
- Strengthened capacity of partner business membership organizations (BMOs) and CSOs in the Niger Delta to advocate for inclusive economic reforms and equitable economic growth.
The Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is a strategic partner to USAID in the Niger Delta. The project will coordinate and complement PIND’s activities in the region under Component Four.
Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement supports the USAID Forward Initiative and its goal of increasing the number of procurements made directly with local organizations. In line with this goal and concurrent to improving civic participation in governance, the project will build the capacity of at least six select Nigerian organizations—with one of the six focusing on women’s participation in decision-making and another on the participation of people with disabilities—so that three are positioned to receive USAID funding after four years.
With support from PIND, the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement supports the following Niger Delta Civil Society and Business Membership Organizations:
- Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ): ANEEJ based in Benin will focus mainly in four States in the Niger Delta Region; the States are Edo, Delta, Rivers and Cross River. The project aims to improve the transparency and accountability mechanisms at targeted Niger Delta Institutions through civic engagement and effective reporting of the agencies activities in Edo, Delta, Rivers and Cross River States.
- Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR): CCIDESOR is based in Imo state and the project primary geographic focus will be in six Local Governments in Imo state of Obowo, Ahiazu-Mbaise, Ngor-Opkalalla,Oguta,Isiala-Mbano and Ishiala-Mbano. The project aims to realize good governance through citizen’s accountability demands through the publication of annual financial and audit reports of Imo State, making the state budget information available to the public especially in the areas of health and education.
- Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa): Based in Warri and will focus in two states Ondo and Delta States with the purpose to build the capacity of CSOs to advocate for improved social accountability mechanisms of the Niger Delta institutions (NDIs) and create public awareness on citizens’ role in holding institutions of governance especially the NDIs to account in a democracy. ANEEJ and LITE-Africa are advocating for open budget and inclusive budgetary process.
- Social Action (Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform): NDCBP will focus mainly in five States in the Niger Delta Region (Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Edo states). The project aims to enable the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform expand its existing network of coalition members and build the capacity of CBOs and CSOs in the Niger Delta region towards strengthening transparency, accountability and citizens’ participation in the fiscal governance processes of state and LGAs especially in regards to education, health and food sufficiency. Social Action is focusing on a call for open budgets mobilizing citizens to call on state governments to operationalize open budget processes that increase citizen engagement and promote transparency and accountability.
- Nembe City Development Foundation (NCDF): The project aims to promote participatory partnership for sustainable peace and community development through mobilization, sensitization and advocacy that will generate employment and income opportunities in Nembe Kingdom and the Niger Delta. Based in Bayelsa state, the project will focus on 5 major communities of Bilabiri, Letugbene, Ekeni, Agbobiri and Nember City in 5 LGAs in Bayelsa State.
- Youth Alive Foundation (YAF): YAF is based in Uyo and will focus in Akwa Ibom state and by extension the Niger Delta states. This project aims to strengthen the capacity of CSOs and Youth groups to advocate for Youth economic empowerment through effective policies and laws that allocates 10% of the Oil Derivation Fund to address high youth unemployment and youth poverty in the Niger Delta region.. Most of the program activities will take place in the state but the reach extends to the Niger Delta.
- Edo State Cooperative Farmers Agency Limited (ESCFA): The project aims to strengthen the capacity of ESCFAL to advocate for policy formulation and inclusive budgetary process in the Agricultural sector in order to promote economic growth and prosperity in Edo state.
- Ugbroke Progressive Fish Farmers Association (UPFFA): The project aims to strengthen the capacity of ESCFAL to advocate for policy reforms, effective policy implementation and inclusive budgetary process in the Agricultural sector in Delta state to promote equitable economic growth.